Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
UB15 Stone-faced hedgebank restoration 55 points per m

This option is only available on land within the SDA.

This option supports the restoration of these banks to maintain them as features in the landscape, and to benefit wildlife. It is available for existing stone-faced banks that remain substantially intact but are losing stones and have some unstable sections. You must have management control over both sides of the hedgebank.

You can enter up to 40 m on your application form. This represents the annual commitment. Hence, if you enter 40 m on your application form, you will be required to complete 200 m over the full 5 years of your agreement (or 400 m if you have a 10-year Uplands ELS/HLS agreement).

You can complete the work ahead of schedule, but you must have completed at least as much as the annual commitment for each agreement year completed. Points earned will be based on the annual commitment, not the actual amount of work completed in any single year.

For example, where the annual commitment is 40 m
End of agreement year 1 2 3 4 5
Minimum total length restored 40 80 120 160 200
Maximum total length restored 200 200 200 200 200
Points earned 2200 2200 2200 2200 2200


Banks in this option may not be entered in options EB4, UB4, EB5 and UB5.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Obtain current, dated photographs of the bank to be restored as evidence of its condition when you joined the scheme, retain these photographs and submit a copy with your application.
  • At the end of the agreement, the restored bank must be complete and in good condition.
  • Carry out all restoration work in the traditional materials used in the original bank construction, following the style characteristic of the local landscape and using appropriately shaped and sized local natural stone.
  • Before work starts, all old fencing must be removed and disposed of appropriately.
  • Avoid undermining the original historic bank. Foundation stones must not be disturbed unless it is necessary to create a firm base. Often the lower courses of field boundaries are of considerable age and archaeological importance.
  • Avoid restoring stone-faced banks in adverse weather conditions, such as drought or very wet weather, as this will result in instability. Using machinery in wet weather may damage land adjacent to the bank.
  • Strip loose stone back by hand until there are firm stones to build on.
  • On completion of each course, backfill with earth and small stones. Tamp down well to form a solid core before continuing with the next course.
  • The top should be finished off with a row of large flat stones, vertical stones or a layer of turf, depending on local traditions.
  • Where the original stone is no longer available or is not in good enough condition to be re-used, replacement stone must be sourced locally and must be of the type used in the local area. Stone must not be taken from other hedgebanks, walls or buildings.
  • Hauling stone should be done when ground conditions are firm enough to prevent soil damage.
  • Old features, such as creep holes or built granite troughs, should be restored and retained.
  • Do not carry out restoration work on a bank with a hedge between 1 March and 31 August (the main bird-breeding season).
  • Where a hedge already exists, do not bury a newly laid hedge in deep earth as this will prevent effective regrowth.
  • Where the bank is crossed by a public right of way, any stiles and gates must be restored to their original form using traditional materials.
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